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O'Brien to Stay Aggressive

Penn State head coach to continue to push on fourth down.
When the Nittany Lions kick off against Syracuse at MetLife Stadium on the Aug. 31, you can expect head coach Bill O’Brien to be just as aggressive on fourth down as he was a year ago.

In O’Brien’s first season at the helm Penn State went for it on fourth down 34 times or about three times per game.

The Nittany Lions ranked 6th in the nation for fourth down attempts, converting 19 times, good for 12th best in the land.

Penn State actually scored four touchdowns on fourth down -  three of them on plays of 25 yards or longer.

O-Brien says even though his team will have a young QB under center this year his aggressive approach on fourth down will stay the same.

"If we get the ball on the 50-yard line going in and we've got an advantageous fourth down and the momentum of the game or all the different factors that go into it,” O’Brien says. “Obviously we're not going to be dumb about it. Will we go for it on fourth down as much as we did last year?  Who knows? I mean how many fourth down situations are we gonna have? I mean last year was a little bit unique in the fact that we had a lot of fourth and short situations. But yeah, I'm sure we'll go for it on fourth down a few times this year. "

Let's go deeper on the fourth down attempts from 2012.

Of the 34 attempts, 28 came on fourth and short or fourth and medium, with 15 tried on fourth and three or less.

Penn State went for it most often in the first and fourth quarters, 10 times in each.

Only four were made on the Nittany Lions’ side of the field.

And the season high for fourth down tries came in the win against Northwestern.
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